The Atlantic: What Really Happens When Americans Stop Going to Church

This was me in the early 2000s.

I boomeranged from nominal Southern Methodist to New Atheism to Lutheranism in the span of a decade. It took me less than a year to figure out that I had nothing in common with most atheists.

The Atlantic:

It seems clear that Christian nationalism attracts a lot of adherents who rarely go to church themselves. A PRRI survey published earlier this year showed that only 54 percent of Christian nationalists—and just 42 percent of those who are “sympathizers” with the ideology—attend church regularly. While that’s still significantly higher than the rate of regular church attendance among the general population (which is 28 percent), it still means that roughly half of all Christian nationalists rarely, if ever, go to church. So even as church attendance declines, Christian nationalism is likely to remain alive and well. …

My own analysis of General Social Survey data has suggested that white southerners who identify as Christian but do not attend church are overwhelmingly conservative in their attitudes on race and social welfare (just as church-attending southern white Christians are). A majority of southern white Christians who never attend church (or attend only once a year) also support restrictive abortion laws. Many are liberal or libertarian on matters of personal liberty, such as marijuana and premarital sex, but they’re still strongly conservative on issues of race, gender, and Christian nationalism. …

Rather than ending the culture wars, the battle between a rural Christian nationalism without denominational moorings and a northern urban Social Gospel without an explicitly Christian framework will become more intense. …

I developed a greater sense of self awareness too.

Even if you do not attend church or reject Christianity, you are still probably heavily influenced by your ethnic, cultural and religious background. Your politics might even be more extreme.


  1. “It seems clear that Christian nationalism attracts a lot of adherents who rarely go to church themselves.”

    My take on this is that Christian Nationalism is a temporal gesture, or a stepping stone, if you will, for those who are White Nationalist, but, because of a decades of conditioning that such is unspeakably evil, cannot bring themselves to see, or declare, themselves as such.

    Former GOP campaign manager, Lee Atwater, discussed this process of semantical shielding, when he said : ‘In the ’50s, we would campaign, ‘Nigger, Nigger’, which, by the later 60s, became, ‘No More Welfare’, which, by the Reagan Era, then became as obtuse as ,’Less Government.’

    This is the success of the system, it all but making it anathema for Whites to see themselves as they are, embrace that, and advocate for that.

  2. The thing about populism is it defines society as “the people” vs. “the elite.” But the people still need their own elite to go up against the elite. That’s how extreme Governments actually get in power.

    In that new elite, I bet non-Christian beliefs are higher. Meaning the leader of the SS or the leader of the Bolshevik party is less likely to be Christian. So while your current views place you more within the mainstream, your older views may have better positioned you for leading an extremist movement and same to people like Greg Johnson.

    You won’t actually have a regime change without an elite directing the populists. You might get Huey Long.

    I wrote a post over on phoraphags about my religious views and religious history. I consider myself a Deist now who borrows predestination from Calvin.

  3. The reason for the non-attendance at most [sic] ‘Churches’ is due to the DESTRUCTION OF THE CHURCHES BY the JEWS over the space of a hundred years or more; first chronicled in the Protocols, made available by Russian Orthodox mystic and Saint, Sergei Nilus, in the early years of the XXth Century. The Orthodox suffered the Bolshevik Revolution and the ‘State Church’ as a result of trying to hold back the Talmudic Tide.

    Secondly, the rise of Liberal Higher Criticism in the German Seminaries cast doubt on Holy Scripture right as Darwin was doing the same in the scientific sphere; and the attempts to fight back, resulted (in Britain) with the arguments by Dean Burgon and Bishop J.C. Ryle against Wescott and Hurt, and (in America) by the “Fundamentalist-Modernist” Controversy led by the great light, J. Gresham Machen. The Four-Volume set known as ‘The Fundamentals’ outlined standard patristic thought on all the issues under siege, but it didn’t change Princeton, or the Presbyterian Church- Machen had to found another Presbyterian denomination, in fact.

    Meanwhile, JEW Untermeyer underwrote convited criminal and bigamist CI Scofield to publish (via Cambridge University Press?!?!) the Dispensational Libel… err, Bible, thus castrating the vast majority of American Evangelicals who were not in creedal churches…

    Rome held the fort until after WWII, when Jews concentrated their efforts on that monolith, and the result was Vatican Eww, and the “Nostra Aetate” document, and the enshrinement of the ‘Jews’ as [sic] ‘elder spiritual brothers’ (Gag!) to the gullible faithful. Even though the names and some of the identities of the people are incorrect, Jazzhands McFeels analysis, ‘All Zog go to Heaven’ podcast puts it out there, pretty well…..

    With Rome’s fall, other liturgical (regurgit-all) Communions followed after- The Lutherans with their ‘new’ Liturgy, the Episcofaggots with their 1979 BCP, the UMC with their Hymnal, etc.

    So, as people have awoken (as from sleep) to this entire JUDAIZING of the Faith, there is a concomitant desire to return to Tradition, Traditional Language and Liturgy, and even (in my case, for example) a return to an awareness of the Ethnarchical nature of Christendom as the ‘White Man’s Religion.”

    The times, they are a’changin…. back! And the Saxon is awakening. Praise God.

    • Good overview Fr. John. You got one detail wrong. Scofield’s heretical bible commentary was published by the then (1909) very prestigious Oxford University Press – no doubt with the aid of a large contribution from the über-Zionist Untermeyer. OUP would never have considered publishing the work of some marginal American evangelical figure in that era.

      Scofield was educated as a lawyer – and his early career was the late 19th-century equivalent of today’s ambulance-chasers found in every Murikan locale. He also dabbled in local politics and had to flee Kansas thanks to bribes and the like. Almost as if by magic, Scofield’s wicked scribbling became a mega best-seller (surprise!) – especially after the Jewish-engineered slaughter of goyim in AD 1914-18, which saw a massive destruction of faith in Europe. Scofield’s commentary offered a tidy explanation which deflected from their evil activities and simultaneously elevated the Synagogue of Satan to demigods in the minds of stupid Protestants in the Anglosphere.

      Nostra aetate was basically Scofield’s dispensationalist B.S. translated into pseudo-Roman terminology. Vatican II was merely the final blow in the Jewish was on Catholicism. By 1840, the Vatican was already in debt to the Rothschild bankstains thanks in large part to the Papal States’ playing in Italian wars. The campaign to infest the seminaries with gays and pedos started at latest in the 1920s – worldwide. The RCC’s lavender mafia was already in charge by the 1950s. Paul VI, on the throne when Vatican II was finalized, was a sodomite.

      • @Fr. John and Exalted Cyclops…

        Thank you both for y’all’s comments.

        The level of this conversation is very high, and a pleasure to behold.

  4. So, many Southern evangelicals are cool with weed and fornication. Doesn’t surprise me. The words of General Dabney ring true yet again.

  5. The “long march” through the institutions is long over and was a great success for our enemies. Mainstream Protestantism and the Catholic Church were not spared. Christianity today is little more than liberal social workers doing their best to aid and abet our 3rd world “replacements” turning us into minorities in our own countries.

  6. The reason many right thinking conservatives don’t attend church is because true churches that follow the traditional teachings of the Bible are so hard to find nowadays. Most churches denominational headquarters have exchanged the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and Jphn for the gospels of Peter, Paul and Mary- the folk singing group that provided the musical score for the Civil Rights Movement. Liberalism has infected the Church and transformed it into the anti-church. Finding a proper church is like finding a needle in a haystack. Don’t blame the people for the decline in church membership- blame those in charge of the churches! No one with his head screwed on straight wants to support an apostate church.

  7. In the Bible, “church” never refers to a building. It always refers to people—the people who follow Jesus Christ. Being part of the body of Christ means we are called to be continually shaped to be more and more like Christ.

  8. If these groups were polled with the question of whether they would fight and die for Israel, it would not surprise me, if evangelical Protestants answered “yes” than jews.

    Jews being rootless wiuld put more value on their own lives, but evangelical Protestants want to build the “Third Temple in Jerusalem, s, in order to bring back the ” Second Coming ” ofJesus in their warped mentality.

  9. Quoting wacko stats like “structural racism index” and these goofy polls is just waste of time.

    It’s interesting though, how the evangelicals are really only marginally more pro-confederate than white Catholics given the demographics of the South.

    Of course, the South is full of transplants, and “evangelical” sects are full of transplanted former Catholics.

    Never forget that in 1900 Iowa had more white people than Texas, that Atlanta had population lower than 10,000 people in the Civil War. The biggest city in the South during the Civil War was a heavily Catholic city. And in the ante-bellum period, Baltimore would also have been one of the largest cities in the South.

    The Jews more than anyone else have worked to standardize the redneck culture as “the norm” in rural America, because only rednecks really want to go kill white Christian gentiles for Jews. They had high hopes of turning Appalachia and the Black Belt commie RED. Our popular “country” culture is the foundation of the electoral power of conservative INC, and it is largely a Jew production. Pat Buchanan could never win in the South – South Carolina and Arizona loved the Bushes and McCain, but Donald Trump could win. The South is not really a very conservative place – this is the real reason the monuments came down. There was no firm sentiment to defend them.

  10. People who don’t go along with the standards of their family and community are oddballs and outliers. I see some of these “Atheist Movement” types on youtube blaming Christianity for being against gays, so called “sexual freedom,” bullying, etc. But I suspect they are really just upset with conventional people and conventional people tend to have healthier survival instincts against things they recognize are dysgenic. And also recognize oddballs who are unfit to lead so what you have are nerds upset about being bullied, gays upset about being a square peg in a round hole world, etc taking it out on what they “think” the problem is without looking in the mirror and seeing that it’s themselves.

    As far as this so called “Christian Nationalism” goes, isn’t this just the latest euphemism for the Tea Party, Moral Majority, etc?

    • No, there are a lot of Christian nationalists who want to get rid of liberalism. Torba, obviously, but also Stephen Wolfe and that whole crowd

  11. G K Chesterton has said that when a man stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe in nothing, he’ll believe in anything. Much of modern society reflects this, people can change their sex just by saying that they identify as the other sex, or there are fifty to sixty genders. This is a perfect example of the lack of reason and the general purpose insanity of this mindset. To me this is the end result of mindless self absorption, and people thinking that nothing matters except what they want. There is no higher power, and they basically become their own mind.

    To say this stupid and weird doesn’t do it justice, it’s a prescription to destroy polite society in the end. Boundaries are there to keep society from degenerating into anarchy, even if you don’t believe in a higher power, people need to accept the fact that they are other things besides what they want at any given moment.

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